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Reddit "Above the Game" PUA Kickstarter achieves 800% funding, criticism

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Anton Sugar

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Jul 26, 2007
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First I read of this was on Jezebel:

Redditor's PUA Kickstarter Project Recommends Sexual Assault

Ken Hoinsky, aka "TofuTofu" on Reddit, launched a Kickstarter so he could "properly publish" a bunch of advice he had posted online over the past three years in a book called Above The Game: A Guide to Getting Awesome with Women. He initially only sought $2,000, but supporters have donated nearly $16,000 to read his thoughts on slimy seduction. Most of those supporters are Redditors, according to Hoinsky, who started spamming me with email last month, begging me to write about his exploits.

"Wanna let your readers know [about the Kickstarter]? I'm sure they'll have a field day with this," he wrote in May, as if we were collaborating on a project. I didn't respond, but he updated me nonetheless: "The funding has reached 300% of goal, almost exclusively from reddit. I think your readers will find the story of a book on meeting women, stemming from an online community like reddit, very compelling." When I finally told him I wasn't interested, he wrote: "Boo... I showed it to my brother's Jezebel-addicted ex-girlfriend and she went on a 3 hour diatribe about it. Your readers will eat it up! Come on, a bunch of nerdy guys on reddit live-blogging their exploits with women? You can't make this shit up :)"

That sealed the deal: I love mocking/calling out pick-up artists, but I was definitely not going to write about this pathetic fameball. Until I read that Hoinsky endorses straight-up sexual harassment and assault. Here's some of his advice (via Casey Malone):

Get CLOSE to her, damn it!: To quote Rob Judge, “Personal space is for pussies.” I already told you that the most successful seducers are those who can’t keep their hands off of women. Well you’re not gonna be able to do that if you aren’t in close! ”

“All the greatest seducers in history could not keep their hands off of women. They aggressively escalated physically with every woman they were flirting with. They began touching them immediately, kept great body language and eye contact, and were shameless in their physicality. Even when a girl rejects your advances, she KNOWS that you desire her. That’s hot. It arouses her physically and psychologically.”

“Decide that you’re going to sit in a position where you can rub her leg and back. Physically pick her up and sit her on your lap. Don’t ask for permission. Be dominant. Force her to rebuff your advances.”

“Sex: Pull out your cock and put her hand on it. Remember, she is letting you do this because you have established yourself as a LEADER. Don’t ask for permission, GRAB HER HAND, and put it right on your dick.”
Keep in mind, those quotes aren't from the Kickstarter page, but were made by the author on Reddit.

Later, Kickstarter responded:

Malone's post got tons of feedback — including a message from Kickstarter. He posted part of the company's response:

This morning, material that a project creator posted on Reddit earlier this year was brought to our and the public’s attention just hours before the project’s deadline. Some of this material is abhorrent and inconsistent with our values as people and as an organization. Based on our current guidelines, however, the material on Reddit did not warrant the irreversible action of canceling the project.

As stewards of Kickstarter we sometimes have to make difficult decisions. We followed the discussion around the web today very closely. It led to a lot of internal discussion and will lead to a further review of our policies.
I can understand where Kickstarter is coming from. Malone found those quotes on Reddit, not on Hoinsky's Kickstarter; should we really expect the company to apply its guidelines to content on users' various social media accounts? But I think Kickstarter would've acted differently if we were talking about racism or homophobia instead of sexism. Misogyny is so normalized that it seems "iffy" but fair to some people at Kickstarter that a dude would want to tell other dudes that consent is for pussies and real men take what they want from women, even if they have to use force. (But, like, not REAL force, according to Hoinsky. Sexxxy force!)
 

Talon

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Jun 19, 2008
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Confirming all suspicions that Internet creeps are indeed real life creeps.
 

Menelaus

Banned
May 6, 2009
7,476
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I feel so sorry for guys that feel they have to rely on this bullshit just to talk to 50% of the planet.
 

XenodudeX

Junior Member
Apr 25, 2012
6,239
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I thought this PUA bullshit died out years ago. I guess there still chumps out there willing to spend money on this crap.
 
Jul 22, 2012
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I thought this PUA bullshit died out years ago. I guess there still chumps out there willing to spend money on this crap.
it's still around. Some of it shifted towards more self-help and overall social skills type advice as apposed to traditional PUA bullshit.

There is good and bad info out there. This guy sound like a clown
 

Miletius

Member
Oct 1, 2010
4,112
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I feel so sorry for guys that feel they have to rely on this bullshit just to talk to 50% of the planet.
This. An extension of the 'nice guys never get laid' philosophy, and absolutely abhorrent in every single way. So sad from both ends, but definitely feel more sorry for the women who are being sexually harassed by dudes following this 'advice.'

If your PUA instruction booklet/video has a section where you are outlined how to avoid rape charges you should not follow that advice.
 

TheSeks

Blinded by the luminous glory that is David Bowie's physical manifestation.
Feb 14, 2009
56,116
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800
“Sex: Pull out your cock and put her hand on it. Remember, she is letting you do this because you have established yourself as a LEADER. Don’t ask for permission, GRAB HER HAND, and put it right on your dick.”
Well, That Escalated Quickly.jpg

And I think that'd be leading more toward a heel stiletto on your balls more than sexy-time.
 

twobear

sputum-flecked apoplexy
Oct 25, 2011
28,719
1
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“Sex: Pull out your cock and put her hand on it. Remember, she is letting you do this because you have established yourself as a LEADER. Don’t ask for permission, GRAB HER HAND, and put it right on your dick.”
WAIT, isn't this a lyric from Go Kindergarten? RIP.
 

The Technomancer

card-carrying scientician
Jun 18, 2009
62,445
5
1,105
So sad that people believe this shit.
Every time I worry about myself with women I just look at stuff like this and go "oh wow, jesus, I've got nothing on these guys for awkwardness and lack of self awareness"

Its the little surge of superiority that keeps me sane

Is what I would have said even two weeks ago before I got together with a wonderful girl who I'm now seeing
 

Mushroomer25

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Jan 5, 2012
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An idiot on the internet is posting bad dating advice, and other people are paying money for it.

Why does anyone care? Why is this news? What does shaming this asshole do, that he isn't already doing to himself?

People have been publishing shitty dating advice for generations. And the best way to deal with it is still - to ignore it, and to mock those that take it seriously.
 

Slayven

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Dec 10, 2004
121,838
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An idiot on the internet is posting bad dating advice, and other people are paying money for it.

Why does anyone care? Why is this news? What does shaming this asshole do, that he isn't already doing to himself?

People have been publishing shitty dating advice for generations. And the best way to deal with it is still - to ignore it, and to mock those that take it seriously.
There is bad dating advise and then there is criminal action date advice.
 

blame space

Banned
Feb 9, 2006
50,396
12
1,365
i hate to be awake
Your froze up? 34 things to say on approach!

1. Hey! Do these jeans make my dick look big?!
2. Hey, I'm really into blonde haired girls with black jackets. I'm Dave.
3. I saw you checking me out over there. I'm not a piece of meat you know.
4. Do you want to fight right now? Let's take this outside.
5. You look like you're into the Jimmy Neutron look (while sporting Jimmy Neutron look).
6. Thumb wrestle. GO!
7. I like your hair, it's almost as good as mine *strokes hair-flip back*.
8. Why are you so tall?!?
9. Don't say anything yet. Let me guess. Your name is Cindy, you're a 7th grade school teacher, you have this weird obsession with oranges, and you love tall, brown haired blue-eyed guys.
10. ...Jessica Alba?
11. Nice hat.
12. I love your face. (Not actually in love with her face)
13. (Obviously not matching) We're matching! This is awkward.
14. (To a bachelorette) You can't get married! I love you! I'm going to break up the wedding, movie style, sweep you off your feet, and then break your heart a week later. You in?
15. I'm going to kill myself if you don't talk to me!
16. You weren't even going to say Hi?
17. Are you REALLY drinking wine on a Saturday night out? You must be having guy problems. Give me a hug. 18. (Girl who looks like Miley Cyrus) Wow I can't believe I'm finally meeting you. I loved that "7 Things I Hate About You" song. Can you autograph my chest?
19. Je veux vous embrasser dans la bibliothèque pendant le matin. (I want to have sex with you in the library in the morning).
20. Let's get out of here.
21. Is that real leather? I love pilots. Is your plane nearby?
22. Stop trying to seduce me from across the room.
23. I think I love you!
24. Staring contest, NOW!
25. Which biker gang are you in?
26. My ass is better than yours.
27. Make me a bracelet!
28. Just so you know, I'm hitting on you. You're not married, are you?
29. So are you one of the country singers whose going up later? The curls kind of give it away.
30. I almost wore the same dress tonight. This would have been terribly awkward.
31. Do you like my blowup doll? (points at blowup doll)
32. You looked like such a bitch from over there. I had to come say hi.
33. (As a guy is buying her a drink) Did that guy really just buy you a drink? Come find me after you give him five pity minutes of your time.
34. (To a tall girl) Hey listen, I think you are absolutely gorgeous but I get kind of intimated around girls who are over a foot taller than me. We're going to have to work through this.
 

Mesoian

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Mar 23, 2012
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The People's Republic of Cambridge

Blair

Banned
Apr 8, 2009
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Rape Artists are the new hotness. PUA shit requires too much fluff, cut out the middleman! (middleman is consent)
 

Bleepey

Member
Dec 21, 2008
13,602
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You're a curious one aren't you.
I read the Game and met Neil Strauss and this stuff in the OP..... Yeah. That shit was scary. I hate to admit it I went out "sarging" with a guy who was seriously into that PUA stuff and my friend who didn't really care. As my friend and I woud talk to girls as we walked down the street and the girls would politely say they weren't interested and we'd say cool, crack a joke and be on our way. The new guy.....he'd get shot down and pursue it and keep trying, the girl would walk away and he'd side step alongside her. My friend and I were shocked and kinda worried for him, and told him that's how you get arrested at worst or make a girl feel uncomfortable.he argued that cos he's relatively short at 5'8ish he had to be assertive like that. My friend and I gave each other worried looks and we joke about it to this day. We describe his PUA attempts with women getting progressively more over the top and forward. I think the PUA community gets a bit of an unfair rap but yeah some guys...
 

Macmanus

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Dec 31, 2008
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www.neogaf.com
Also I'm not sure why certain members of GAF have such a difficult time understanding the concept of reddit. It's a link aggrivator divided up into thousands of separate communities with millions of unique visitors on the daily.

You're seriously going to lump PUAs into the same category as Bronies because they utilize a tool on the internet?
 

Kinitari

Black Canada Mafia
Feb 10, 2008
20,309
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it's still around. Some of it shifted towards more self-help and overall social skills type advice as apposed to traditional PUA bullshit.

There is good and bad info out there. This guy sound like a clown
Yeah, I've seen it branch off into a few different categories, but I haven't paid that much attention. The 'good stuff' seems to be stuff that talks about being confident, not worrying about rejection and making stuff happen as opposed to waiting for stuff to happen.

The bad stuff is varied but usually along the lines of 'show them who's boss' sort of material.
 

Aguirre

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Aug 26, 2010
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beatsblues.tumblr.com
ugh this is kinda disgusting... and sleazy... people actually paid for this?! O.O

the only reason i'd buy it: --- so i know when men are using the tips on me (not that it would happen in the first place) from this book and i can avoid them xD
 

Menelaus

Banned
May 6, 2009
7,476
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Also, I don't think Dating Age is that bad. I only check it every once in awhile, but most people seem to be giving decent advice. Usually variants of "get your life in order and stop basing your entire self worth on what women think of you/how many women you sleep with".
It's a bunch of robots all slowly developing a crowd sourced dating AI based on trial and (mostly) error.
 
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